25 November 2019 | UK NEWS/ANALYSIS
Since the launch of the Labour Manifesto at Birmingham City University last Thursday, we at Wolves have been working with others to go through the figures. This is still a work in progress, but can be viewed here.
The total cost of all the policies announced in the 107-page document, either where figures are provided or where we can best source them from the Institute for Fiscal Studies or other providers, appears to amount to around £1.5 trillion. The sheer scale of such government spending plans would appear to underscore party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement that this was to be the most “radical” manifesto in the party’s history.
Indeed, it is highly likely to be the most radical in any UK party’s history. The Director of the IFS, Paul Johnson, told reporters:
“It is impossible to understate just how extraordinary this manifesto is just in terms of the sheer scale of money being spent and raised through the tax system: hundreds of billions of additional spending on investment, £80 billion-plus per year on spending on day-to-day things, social security, spending on the NHS, student loans and so on, and matched by supposedly an £80 billion increase in tax. These are vast numbers, enormous, colossal, in the context of anything we’ve seen in the last – ever, really.”
He also poured cold water on the notion that all of this money could be raised by hiking up taxes for merely the upper 5% of earners – a view with which a different Mr Johnson also agreed. The Prime Minister said:
“The Labour Manifesto suggests they want to raise £80 billion of tax revenue, and they suggest that all of that will come from companies and people earning over £80,000 a year. That is simply not credible. We cannot raise that kind of money in our tax system without affecting individuals.”
Indeed, Labour appear to be the party most focused on spending money in other respects in this election also, being the only movement to have registered any non-party campaigning organisers with the Electoral Commission – including, of course, Momentum.
Sources have reported to Wolves that, during an election strategy conference call last night, Momentum asked its members to further increase donations to its social media advertising campaign, specifically targeting voters in marginal constituencies. £50K has apparently already been raised thus far, with activists now calling on their volunteer donors to reach up to £100K.
The Conservative Manifesto, meanwhile, which was released yesterday afternoon, has been seen by many commentators as a more streamlined, ‘vanilla’ offering than it has often been in the past. It is a little over half the size of Labour’s at 64 pages, and focuses on the party’s record in government since 2010, along with the mantra of ‘Get Brexit Done’. Further analysis of the Tory Manifesto will appear on Wolves shortly.